APRIL 9, 2024

Aston Martin better for Alonso than Mercedes

Mike Krack is upbeat about the rising prospects of a contract extension for Fernando Alonso beyond 2024.

Fernando Alonso, Japanese GP 2024
© Aston Martin Racing

The Spaniard has been linked with top-team moves to Red Bull or Mercedes.

But at Suzuka, Dr Helmut Marko ruled out pairing the 42-year-old with Max Verstappen next year, whilst Alonso himself said stepping sideways to the struggling Mercedes team is not very attractive.

Since even before the season began, Alonso laid out clear conditions for staying with Aston Martin for another season. First, that he decides against returning to retirement, and second that the Silverstone based team continues to build towards becoming one of F1's established top teams.

Team boss Krack told the Spanish broadcaster DAZN at Suzuka that the first real assessment of how 2024 is proceeding will be made after the fifth race - set to take place in Shanghai next weekend.

We are taking the first five races as a reference to see where we are, said the German. "And so far we were, overall, the fifth fastest team.

Maybe sometimes close to fourth, which means you fight between being seventh or tenth normally.

In reality, that's not a step up compared to 2023, when Aston Martin finished fifth - behind Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes.

We have to add more, Krack admits. "Without a doubt we have to achieve more.

But I think that if he can fight and not be in the middle of nowhere it is already a first step. And we are not going to stop there.

With specific reference to Alonso and his 2025 deliberations, Krack continued: We will keep bringing him new pieces throughout the season to keep him motivated and happy at Aston Martin.

He also admits to being buoyed by Alonso's remark at Suzuka that a move to Mercedes is not attractive at present.

I think when you see what has happened in the last two or three years, said Krack, the progress that the teams have made, it is good to see that there is a possibility there at Mercedes but that perhaps it is better to stay here.